Lots of people are getting Android phones. My last update was in January, so it’s overdue. The most compelling feature of the Android devices is the integration of all the applications, and in particular with Google Services. For example, search from the home screen can include Text, e-mail, contacts, calendar, or web.
The Droid is the most stable smartphone I have ever used. It has run for at least 45-50 days at a time without turning it off. At this point, I cycle the power once a month and mute the phone each night. I don’t recommend using a Task Killer. Lots of people seem obsessed with killing tasks to optimize battery life. I just don’t load tons of widgets on my phone and enable wireless and Bluetooth when I need them. My experience is that running ActiveSync and Google Mail sync 24×7, my battery can easily last through 12-15 hour days.
Ad Hoc Apps – there are several times I have installed an app to solve a problem. I’m am constantly amazed at the variety and quality of applications available for Android phones.
- Google Sky App – I use this at night in the back yard to explore the night sky before going to bed. The dog gets some exercise, and I unwind a bit. We have also used it to locate meteor showers and the Space Station.
- Evernote – I use it to capture information for later review or reference. It syncs with the Evernote desktop client. There is also a Chrome plug-in so Google searches also search Evernote data.
- Twidroyd – Twitter client, does a good job, but ever more intrusive ads in the free version may have be go pro, or explore other Twitter clients.
- Touchdown – Exchange Activesync client – $20
- Where’s My Droid – locate by sending a text or e-mail
- Twidroyd for Twitter – twitter client
- Google Translate
- WordPress – blogging tool
- chompSMS – Texting client
- Facebook for Android – Facebook client
- YouTube – upgrade from default client
- Google Maps – awesome, ties into Navigation which rivals, but will not replace my Garmin, and can show traffic overlays
- Aidiko Book Reader – eBook reader, with large, free library
- Google Voice – replaced Verizon voicemail, and use for international calls
- DropBox – sync files with PC’s and web
- Google Chrome to Phone – send web pages to your Droid – experimenting
- GMail – upgrade of default client
- NPR News – fair and balanced
- BBC News – because US news pretty much sucks
- Voice Search (Google) – improved client for voice search, marginal
- Places Directory – ties into Google Maps, very useful when you travel
- Astro File Manager – awesome, backup and restore apps and data to SD card
- NYCMate – NYC bus and train maps – very handy if you travel to NYC.
- Google Sky Map – awesome night sky map
- Google Finance – stock market tracking app
- Google Buzz widget – link to Google Buzz service
- Tone Picker – MP3 ringtones (free)
- Swype – alternate text entry app – ‘wipe’ your finger across the on-screen keyboard to spell words. Awkward with alphanumeric data entry, but amazing with text.
These are applications I used on a regular basis.
- HandCent – excellent SMS client, but I uninstalled because it gets very, very slow possibly due to the number of texts I retain (>10,000, every text in the past year).
- Barcode Scanner – does a good job of scanning barcodes, with Google search integration to comparison shop.
- Romote – Roku DVP Remote – awesome, awesome app. We took our Roku (www.roku.com) on vacation, but forgot the remote. I installed and configured the Roku Remote in a few minutes, and it worked seamlessly.